The Sixties were a time of great change in both America and Britain. Society's mores were changing, with sexuality becoming more free, drugs prevalent and rock 'n' roll defining a generation. The 'British Invasion' brought British culture to America, and American society reacted. My aim is to study American and British culture and society both before and during the 'British Invasion' and see how each influenced the other. I will look at the music of the time to see how it reflects society. The Who were a 'Mod band', the Byrds were 'the American answer to the Beatles' and the 'founders of folk-rock' while the Kinks were 'quintessentially English'. Many of these artists instilled a sense of national identity and internationalism within their audience. I will be exploring this ideas of national identity, and what it meant to be 'American' or 'British' within in a musical context.
Musicians were aware of society around them and put their thoughts to music. What can this music tell us about society, and the interplay of cultures across the Atlantic? Key questions this raises involve how similar were 'Swinging London' and other cultural bastions of the day like Los Angeles and San Francisco; what role did the people behind musicians, such as managers and producers, play in creating the music; and how much did the musicians influence each other?